Edward Johnson: Contribution as Historian

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      Born in Canterbury in 1598, Edward Johnson was not a man of letters but a historian of the times. In 1630, he left his wife and seven children in England to travel to New England with John Winthrop by a ship named Arabella. Having arrived in Boston with Winthrop who represents the average social position of thousand souls who made the great migration in New England. In 1636, Johnson and his family immigrated to Massachusetts where he held many influential positions. He was a ships’ carpenter by trade. He had no university education but he rose to some prominence in the government of Massachusetts in 1650. In 1649, he founded a community of Woburn, Massachusetts.

      In 1650, Edward Johnson began his A History of New England (1654) in which he gave the epic accounts of trails and triumphs of the Puritan experiments of holy living in America. The book covers the organizational, civil, military and ecclesiastical authority, wars with the Indians, troubles with heretics, commodities and trade with ‘old England’. In addition, reflects the charismatic vision, which impelled the prose work, although bombastic ornate and sentimental history is not in general, a characteristic of Puritan prose. He was committed to the decorum of the plain style. His other World is The Wonder Working Providence of Stone’s Savior in New England (1654). Nevertheless, it was always colorful and vigorous. More important thing is that it enables us to catch something of what it meant emotionally to them to feel that they are God’s “chosen” and they are engaged in a crusade for Christ against his enemies in the wilderness Edward Johnson is the best remembered for his book New England’s History.

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